Victim mentality is a tricky little thing. You see our subconscious mind is always trying to keep us safe and to help us meet our emotional needs. Now depending on our past experiences, it may get confused about the best way to do this.
We all need love and attention. Some of us have healthy behavior patterns which we use to meet these needs and some of us have very unhealthy behavior patterns. Being a victim is one way, albeit an unhealthy way, of getting attention by having other people feel sorry for us and commiserate with us. But the dysfunction goes a little deeper than this.
You see when we have a thought we connect some sort of emotion to it, whether it’s happy, sad, scared or mad. This emotion thought is then sent to the chemical factory of our brain where it is converted into neuropeptides which are carried throughout the body to create the actual feeling of the emotion. For example, we may feel fear in our chest or stomach.
Now if we get attention and love whenever we get hurt, our mind creates a program or formula that good feelings follow bad feelings. i.e. love follows sadness. We essentially develop a pattern of behavior to create situations where we become the victim because then when we tell our story to other people, they feel sorry for us and we get our love and attention needs met. It’s a little convoluted but this is our how subconscious mind works.
On an even deeper level, these neuropeptides which were dispersed throughout our body, attach to receptor sites on our cells creating a cascade of biochemical changes. Over time, if we ‘practice’ feeling sad or victimized over and over, when these cells replicate, they will develop more receptor sites for the neuropeptides which they are exposed to most often. These cells learn to expect and even crave these neuropeptides in an addictive fashion in the same way a drug addict craves their drug of choice.
Craving this neuropeptide of sadness, anger or victimization, our clever subconscious mind will attract and/ or create situations in which we are victimized. Through the law of attraction we will literally bring people into our lives that are a vibrational match and treat us the way we need to be treated in order to continue this cycle. We will also act and speak in ways that will trigger other people to react to us with annoyance or even anger. Then we’ll shout from the mountaintops “I can’t believe they did that to me. Poor me. Poor, little, innocent me.” We tell everyone who will listen our victim story, gain their sympathy and love and we feel good…. For the moment, that is, until the cycle repeats.
By understanding and recognizing this cycle, you can not only put a stop to your own victim mentality and behavior, you can also avoid becoming a victim of other people’s victim mentality. If they are really stuck in this pattern, they will bait you and try to get you to do or say something to play into their game.
Now understand that this is all subconscious behavior and completely outside their conscious awareness. If you try to confront them about it, they will likely be in total denial and use your ‘accusation’ as evidence of how mean you are. The best way to not get sucked into this type of dysfunction is to simply remain silent and refuse to play their game. Don’t let them bait you. Don’t react the way they expect you to. Don’t add one drop of fuel to their fire. Some may take it so far as to make things up, fabricating entire conversations that never even occurred. But if you continue to refuse to engage, they will eventually spin themselves out or simply move on to another person who will engage them in the fight they are addicted to.
We can have compassion for these people because we realize that they truly don’t understand the antics and workings of their own subconscious mind. However, it’s a mistake to coddle them or feed their dysfunction. Every behavior has at its root a positive intention. In this situation, their victim behavior has a positive intention of receiving attention and love. These parts of the subconscious mind can be ‘re-educated’ and given new healthy ways of achieving their positive intentions. However, every person must choose consciousness for themselves. No one can choose it for us and we can’t choose it for someone else. The path to awareness and enlightenment is a singular journey.